Articles & Notes — May 1, 2017 at 5:28 pm

How James Bond became King of the casino


Fast cars, dames in distress, an array of special weapons – let’s face it, James Bond had it all! There’s many brilliant scenes over the course of the franchise, but a large proportion of the most memorable relate to his crafty casino play.

Bond was never one for free casino games (fun as they are), much more a high stakes, steady nerve player, with games that only really play well in real life. Baccarat, Craps, Poker? Bond is the perfect role model on how to play these high stake ventures.

A steady nerve, cold calculation, and absolutely an ‘odds-player’ – Bond is a natural. Take for example Casino Royale. The fantastic 2006 remake follows true to the Fleming classic, in that our super spy is deliberately human, and willing to lose in order to get closer to his nemesis Le Chiffre. Following a couple of poisoning and assassination efforts – enough to test anyone – he returns to the table bankrolled by the CIA.

Obviously he wins, and Le Chiffre is taken into custody. The story runs much deeper towards the end, but there’s many other quite casual scenes across the Bond series that demonstrate someone playing the odds well.

The Scorpion Scene

In Skyfall, one of the early scenes features a disillusioned Bond living in relative paradise. Problem being that his slight predilection for hard liquor means he spends most nights supping in a local beach bar. To win local favor – and probably also a number of drinks on the house – he traps, then releases a scorpion under a glass. Waking up in the same bar stool the next morning, he goes on to confront his foes.

Vegas Bond

Heading back to the Connery glory years, there’s an amazing scene in Diamonds Are Forever when Bond turns the Vegas tables in his favor. Much more luscious and fantastical than the recent series, Conner’s Bond is a total lush and out for solid wins aligned with handsome humor.

Interestingly this is the only example of him playing craps. As anyone should know, that’s a game of luck and persistence, but he walks out with a fortune under his arm. Shows that sometimes even blind luck can deliver a quality score.

Baccarat Bond

Poker has way surpassed this classic game in most casinos, however as a classic it’s well worthy of a mention. All the way back in the early 60’s, audiences were enthralled by Dr No. Games don’t roll much higher than this – everything on a roll of a pair of dice. If you watch carefully before the initial toss, you can see Connery just adjusting the dice in order to spin and rebound at the right angle. It’s subtle, check it out.

What Can We Learn From Bond?

Sure we’re not all blessed with amazing luck, and an innate ability to count and spin – but the character of Bond does demonstrate a couple of pointers. Perhaps the most important is that there’s no such thing as good/bad money. Now and again persistence will pay, just keep an eye on your bankroll and don’t exceed that limit.

Bond is also a character who plays percentages above of sheer luck. Sure he’ll tip once in a while for others to enjoy a spin, but he’s utterly calculating. Best way to win – right?

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